Richie Meldrum chats to Brazilian drum & bass sensation DJ Marky about Sao Paulo, UK jungle, kilts and haggis
Think of Brazil and you think of music. It’s a country that lives and breathes to its own unique rhythm, a rhythm which DJ Marky has followed to the top of his profession. Inspired by the Sao Paulo clubs he partied in as a teenager, Marky started out spinning hip hop and techno. However, while today’s digital DJs can instantly download their favourite new releases from a tree house in Tahiti if they wanted, the contents of Marky’s record box was, at least in part, determined by availability. ‘It was crazy man,’ he explains, ‘I used to work at FNAC in Brazil and we had a pretty good record shop there, but it was still hard to get hold of fresh music, especially all the stuff that was coming out of the UK at the time. I can remember the first time we managed to get some jungle into the shop, it was mental.’
They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and when those special imports touched down in the country, Marky was there, waiting with open arms. He began to introduce UK jungle and D&B to Sao Paulo’s club scene, adding his own Brazilian flavour to this foreign sound. It’s a case of national pride according to the big man: ‘I love my country, and I think the majority of Brazilians feel the same. We are very proud of our country, its people and our music, so you try and carry that with you wherever you go.’
He carried it all the way across the Atlantic, seasoning our rain-soaked isle with a little Brazilian sunshine, and finding the UK crowds to be more than up for the occasion. ‘In Europe, the people are on it! When Friday comes round all they want to do is go to the club and have a wicked night dancing with their mates.’
Marky’s sets are packed with energy, showmanship and enhanced by some jaw dropping scratch skills. Diversity is key, and he’s a big fan of DJs who can play a range of different genres. ‘One of the best people for that is Laurent Garnier,’ according to Marky. ‘The guy can play anything and make it sound like it is supposed to be there. At Skolbeats he came and finished off the Saturday night with me and we did back-to-back for 90 minutes of D&B. I can remember people coming up to the decks when he was playing and saying “my God, what is this tune?”.’
Back playing to a Scottish crowd for the first time in two years, his debut for Xplicit will be a welcome return for both parties. ‘Good times man, I always had good times in Scotland. It can be cold, which I am clearly not used to, but the people always give me a good reception and enjoy themselves, which for me is the most important part, to get feedback from the crowd and make their night as special as possible.’ Perhaps he might be willing to don the national dress for the occasion? ‘Yeah I’ll try something for sure,’ he laughs. ‘I’ll check the weather first and see if a kilt is going to be ok. I’ve heard about this haggis though and I’m not sure about that, is it sheep or something?’ Yeah, something like that.
DJ Marky guests with Stamina MC at Xplicit, the Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Fri 22 Aug.